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CSOs demand equal distribution of gov’t cash for political parties

Fred Musisi the ACFIM Board Treasurer addresses journalists during a media briefing in Kampala

Kampala, Uganda |  THE INDEPENDENT |  Civil society organizations fighting for democracy in Uganda have protested the yardstick on which government intends to distribute the just released financial support among political parties saying that it is against the political parties and organizations’ (Amendment act) 2010.

Last week the ministry of finance released over Uganda Shillings 15 bn to the EC and according to the EC, the money has been shared on the basis of numerical strength of political parties represented in parliament. This gives advantage to the ruling National Resistance Movement- NRM to pocket over 83% of the allocation.

The Alliance for Campaign finance monitoring – ACFIM together with the democratic governance facility- DGF today held a press conference in Kampala and aired the misgivings on behalf of political parties.

They accuse the ministry of finance and the electoral commission of ignoring section 14(b) of the political parties and organizations amendment act which provides that “In respect of the elections, Government shall finance political organizations and parties on equal basis.

They say this provision was ignored in the 2011 and 2016 elections yet the amendment was already in place and have continued to instead only focus on the act’s section 14(c) which provides that “In respect of the normal day to day activities, funding shall be based on the numerical strength of each political party or organization in parliament.

Fred Musisi the ACFIM board treasurer read the statement in which CSOs demand that either government makes a decision to equally redistribute the funds, or pass an emergency supplementary budget to finance all political parties taking part in the 2021 elections.

Fred Muguzi the executive director ACFIM dismissed as laughable the electoral commission’s guidance blocking parties from using this money for campaigning wondering what then the motive behind releasing the money at the time when parties are in the middle of campaigning, was.

Meanwhile the CSO’s have advised political parties to stop investing all their hopes for resources in government but always pressurize government to put in place conducive environments for them to mobilize support from other avenues.

They have also demanded that the EC and government at large task all political parties that have been receiving government money since 2011, to adduce accountability for the public to know how they have been putting this money to use.  

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